It’s not until you have your own kids that you truly realise the sacrifices your parents made to feed, clothe, educate and put up with your annoying behaviours.
Most of us would have heard our mothers mutter “I hope you have a child just like you,” and at the time that sounded like a rad idea, a mini me!
When the reality strikes however, we suddenly want to phone up our parents and issue a heartfelt apology for the chaos, crying and utter crappulance we dished up as kids.
Because let’s face it, kids are extremely annoying a lot of the times. They wait until you have just sat down before asking for help, refuse meals because something on your plate looks far more appealing, lose everything all the time. They can never find anything in the house even when it is right under their noses, but can sniff out a lolly hidden way in the back of the pantry that you had hidden away for yourself.
Kids are the ultimate space invaders. If they aren’t lying all over you whilst watching TV, they’re practically inside your underpants whilst using the toilet. I have one child who is the slowest moving kid I have ever witnessed. Getting stuck behind him in the hallway causes me the kind of road rage that is usually only reserved for when you get boxed in by slow cars on the highway.
In light of all that, I want to take a minute to say thank you to my parents for not putting me out with the garbage, in a box reading ‘Free to good home’ and I want to apologise for the following:
Kids who simply do not want to learn the necessary life skill of wiping their own bottoms are especially annoying. I know this as I have two of them who cannot seem to operate the flush mechanism of the toilet and have zero interest in toilet paper. One of my earliest memories as a child was yelling out ‘Muuuuuum, can you wipe my buuuuuuuum?’. This would usually occur the minute mum had just got on the phone. So not only was mum shuddering, so were her friends, family, the bank manager and any one with the misfortune to call our house. Sorry about that mum.
Incessant talking especially in the car
We have rules about drinking and driving, fatigued driving, wet weather driving, but there are no procedures in place to avert the ultimate driving distraction that is having kids in the car. Whether they are singing an endless loop of the popular kids tune ‘Diarrhoea, Diarrhoea or punching each other when they think you’re not looking, it’s all equally annoying. As a child I was so hurt and angry when I told my 500th ‘Knock Knock’ joke during a long drive and dad grabbed the joke book from my hand and flung it out the window. At the time I felt so victimised but now I finally get it. Sorry that last joke tipped you over the edge dad!
Deliberate public embarrassment
Some things kids do in public are accidentally embarrassing. Things like loudly saying; “Why is that man having a baby?”, which requires you to whisper that the elderly overweight lady, isn’t having a baby and that we all come in different shapes and sizes. That I can handle. But when kids deliberately be embarrassing jerks just for the ‘lol’ factor, then I have an issue. My 6 year-old was being a jerkette in Coles because I wouldn’t buy her something that she wanted. I asked her to stop whinging and hurry up to which she replied loudly; “You’re not my mum, I’m not going anywhere with you!” It was loud enough for other shoppers to raise eyebrows over the apparent child abduction happening before their eyes. Suddenly I had a flash back to my mum yelling at me in a supermarket and me responding with faux sign language. People looked at my mum like a huge A-hole for not being sensitive to my (fake) disability. Sorry Mum and the entire Deaf Community for my insensitivity!
Excessive displays of newly learnt skills
I get that kids are super excited to show off newly learnt skills. Let’s be honest though, the never ending performance of these skills gets a little tiring. My son recently learnt to whistle so he whistles all day long. He has actually whistled his way to having severely chapped lips and I am having nightmares that are just one long, monotone whistle playing on a loop. This reminded me of when my dad taught me how to burp on command and even took it to the next level by encouraging me to burp “I love you mum”. Mum was so horrified out that she would almost dry retch watching it. Sorry mum, but it’s still a fun party trick!
Kids with colds
This is a little controversial because as mothers we are supposed to super nurturers during colds, flus and even fake illnesses. But yesterday as I sat beside my son, who happens to have a cold, I realised the unique frustrations that come with a kid who can’t cough or sneeze properly. As I tried to work, he kept letting out little tiny coughs followed by huge sniffs, over and over again. It kept breaking my train of thought until finally I snapped and yelled; “For the love of all things holy would you please do one big cough and blow your damn nose!” I immediately recognised the look of shock and sadness on his face as it was reminiscent of my mum responding to my year round allergies. I still remember mum losing it one day and saying “Will you please just shove that damn tissue up your nose for 5 minutes so I can have a break from the sneezing?” Offensive, yes. But I can see where she was coming from.
Everyone with older kids can attest to the fact that kids have the most outlandish reactions to minor inconveniences. Unfortunately, as parents, we all have to hear the following statements from our offspring; “You don’t even love me”; “Argh I hate you mum,” and my personal favourite “You never let me do anything!” I still remember the look on my mother’s face when I said all three of these in response to her not letting go for a sleepover at some kid’s house (who subsequently turned out to be living in a weird religious cult). My bad Mum, I guess sometimes you did know better!
Refusing to do certain things for weird reasons
It honestly doesn’t matter what you ask a kid to do for you, there is always some long winded bizarre reason why they cannot help. It’s annoying but occasionally funny to hear the excuses. I have one kid who can never help with anything and his excuses have included: “I can’t take my pillow back to my room because my eyebrows hurt,” “I can’t flush the toilet because that’s my best friend poo,” “I can’t hold the front door open because I’m in a rush to put my pyjamas on.”
Even though it shits me to high heaven I remember my mum asking for help with bringing in the food shopping. If it was a bag containing jars I would say they were too heavy. Anything containing raw meat was too gross. But the biggest argument that spanned years concerned toilet paper. “I’m not carrying the toilet paper because someone I know might see me doing it and think that I use toilet paper.” Yep, that was me. Totally ridiculous but it made sense at the time. Sorry mum, let me help you with that bog roll!
So as much as it sucks to be boobs deep in kid’s bizarre behaviours and idiosyncrasies, just remember that they too will one day have kids just like them….
Here’s a whole lot of other reasons why we probably owe your own parents an apology..